It’s Time To Hit The Links!!

open championship

It’s 5:57 in the a.m. and that means one thing, it’s time for some golf!! That’s right sports fans, today marks the first round of the Open Championship. Playing host for the 10th time, is Royal Birkdale in Southport, England. I’m excited!! With a 5-hour time difference from New York, the players have already hit the links. Your early leaders are Ian Poulter and Justin Rose (2 Englishmen) at -2. Expect to see many European players in contention throughout the week. Golf in England, Scotland, and Ireland is a different animal. It is ‘links style’. This means there are less trees but more fescue. And there are fairway bunkers as deep as a basketball hoop. I’ve played golf in Scotland. There’s nothing like hitting a ball right down the middle of the fairway only to find out it ran into a bunker!!

Anyway….

Your most exciting pairing today is Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson. They are currently on the course, both standing at -1 thru 5 holes. Jordan Spieth is the #3 ranked golfer in the world, and Henrik Stenson is the defending champion. Last year’s Open Championship was played at Royal Troon in Scotland. Stenson shot a record breaking -20 to win his first Major. Royal Troon is one of the courses I was blessed to play while in Scotland (14 years ago). I’m no professional, but let me tell you, that course is FREAKIN’ HARD!! Granted my dad and I were fresh off the plane, and we played in 40 mph wind, but that course ate me alive. My 12-handicap quickly doubled, as I shot a 96 that day. The sea was angry that day my friends. That’s the worst round of golf I’ve played since I was 12 years old by the way.

Anyway….

As evidenced in the 2017 U.S. Open, golf is struggling to find a consistent superstar to latch onto. This is something the sport of golf has been longing for ever since Tiger Woods disappeared from the scene. It seemed that Jordan Spieth was going to assume the role as the face of golf, but after an incredible 2015 season, Spieth’s game has moved in the wrong direction. He’s still playing at a high level, however, winning 2 Majors in the same year (2015) seems like a lifetime ago. Maybe we were spoiled by Tiger Woods. Or maybe we just enjoy watching history be made right in front of our eyes. Or maybe we feel the need to root for someone, rather than simply just enjoying the event. Or maybe it’s a combination of these 3 things.

Golf isn’t dead, but it’s battery has died, and it needs a jump in order to make it home. The PGA is also pushing another name, Jon Rahm. Rahm is a 22-year old, budding star. He has just 1 PGA tour victory on his resume but is still the 3rd favorite to win this tournament. Yeahhhh, I’d say they want him to win.

I know I’ll be watching this week’s Open Championship, but I’m about the craziest sports fan you’ll ever meet. What about you, the casual sports fan?? Will you be glued to the TV, watching every drive, chip, and putt?? While I hope so, I highly doubt it.

Oh yeah, come Sunday, Jordan Spieth will be hoisting the trophy. Book it!!

 

Who do you think will win the Open Championship?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

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Big Weekend In Sports

This was a big weekend in sports that just passed us by. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and their Father’s Day. If you spent some time on your couch with your television like I did, than you definitely enjoyed yourself. There were 3 major sporting events going on, and I’m going to give you a quick rundown of what took place in each one. First you had Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night. Then you had the finish of golf’s U.S Open Sunday Evening. And last but certainly not least you had Game 5 of the NBA Finals Sunday night. None were more exciting than the hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins.

If you saw Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals than you already know how epically great that game was, and how competitive this series is going to be. Quickly for those who don’t know, the Blackhawks took Game 1 in triple overtime! It was a game for the ages and it set the table for game 2. How could Game 2 live up to the expectations that Game 1 laid on top of its napkin you ask? Well, they mustered up another exhilarating overtime thriller, that’s how. The Boston Bruins evened up the series at 1 game a piece by winning 2-1 over Chicago. Boston allowed a lonely goal in the 1st period and then tightened up the defense for the rest of the contest. You can catch what should be another exciting game on Monday night on NBC. The puck drops at 8:00 p.m. in Boston. Enjoy!!

Now, ever since Thursday morning’s rain delayed U.S. Open got started, everyone was wondering and waiting for Tiger to make his push towards his 15th major. The only problem was that the push never came. Tiger didn’t start out too badly but played progressively worse as the week went on. Tiger finished with a career worst 72-hole score of +13. I guess we’ll all have to wait for the British Open to see if Tiger can end his 5 year drought without a major victory. His last major came at the U.S. Open in 2008 after beating Rocco Mediate in a ’19’ hole playoff. While Woods struggled with Mr. 3 Wiggle all weekend, Justin Rose minimized his mistakes and gutted out his 1st major victory. He won by 2 strokes (+1) over 2nd place finishers Jason Day and Phil Mickelson (both were +3). This is Phil’s 6th 2nd place finish at U.S. Open. Man that’s gotta suck! Anyway, job well done Justin Rose, and better luck next time Phil.

Sunday night’s NBA Finals Game 5 was one that was certain to bring big drama. The San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat have exchanged wins all series, but everyone was expecting the Heat to carry their momentum from game 4 into game 5 and finally put this series out of reach. Boy were they wrong. Despite another solid performance from Dwyane Wade, the Spurs were simply too good for Miami. They basically carried the lead from wire to wire and won the game by a score of 114-104. San Antonio’s ‘Big 3’ hopped in their time machine and pulled a performance somewhere out of 2003. They scored a combined 67 points while arguably the Finals MVP at the moment, Danny Green, added 24 points of his own. Green hit another 6 3-pointers and surpassed Ray Allen as the all-time leader for 3-pointers in an NBA Finals. Manu Ginobili was inserted into the starting lineup and hit the Spurs first shot. He was off and running from there and never looked back. While the Spurs seemingly couldn’t miss, Lebron James went ice cold in the 2nd half. For the game he went a putrid 8-22 from the field, and will need to play a whole lot better if they plan on raising any more banners in Miami this year. You got what you asked for Lebron. Now all you have to do is execute. Good luck buddy, you’re going to need it.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!